GCRF_NF72 Development, evaluation and implementation of a digital support to improve the management of cancer and mitagate the impact of COVID-19

  • Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:9 publications

Grant number: EP/V028146/1

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    Queen's University of Belfast
  • Research Category

    Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

  • Research Subcategory

    Indirect health impacts

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details

    Not applicable

  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Adults (18 and older)

  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



Over half a million people in Vietnam currently live with cancer or provide care to a relative or friend with the disease. Support and care in the form of palliative care or supportive units are rare in Vietnam. As a result, 70% of patients die at home, in the care of their families. Many families affected by cancer manage severe health issues with minimal knowledge and little help from health care professionals. Providing this care can have a significant negative impact on the carer's health and their ability to work. These challenges have worsened due to COVID-19 as many hospitals appointments throughout Vietnam were cancelled or treatments postponed. As a consequence of these disruptions, many families are managing cancer in isolation. Prior to 'lockdown', we conducted workshops with 100 patients, carers and health care professionals across five regions of Vietnam. Patients and families reported that they require urgent assistance to understand cancer, manage medications, daily personal care needs, nutrition, wound care, emotional issues, how to tell if a patient's health is getting worse and when you should seek help. In response to these needs, we hosted a workshop in March 2020 with cancer experts from across Vietnam to design a remote digital cancer management tool to provide families the support, information and skills they require. This project aims to develop this digital resource called V-CCC (Vietnam -Cancer Caring Coping) to support families to manage cancer remotely. The team have developed a written version of the digital support V-CCC. This project will 1) Develop the digital version of V-CCC 2) Evaluate the impact V-CCC may have on patient and carer outcomes 3) Explore V-CCC usage throughout the country. We will develop the best possible digital advice and information by working together as a large group of doctors, nurses, carers, patients, academics and allied health professionals from across all regions of Vietnam. An expert digital supports team will transfer this information online ensuring that it is easy to use e.g. videos/pictures/ interactive games. We will demonstrate the V-CCC in workshops involving 50 carers from five different regions of Vietnam (Hanoi, HCMC, Hue, Danang and Can Tho). Changes will be made to V-CCC based on this feedback. We will then evaluate the V-CCC with 150 carers (and patients if willing) across five cancer hospitals (Hanoi, Ho Chi Mhin City, Can Tho, Danang and Hue). Nurses in cancer hospitals will recruit participants and assist them to complete baseline measures (mental health, quality of life, health literacy). Cancer carers will be provided with a web-link and access code to V-CCC for two weeks. Participants will be asked to complete follow-up surveys identical to those they completed at the onset. We will then conduct 30 online interviews over Skype with a range of carers to explore their experiences of using V-CCC. We will also ask N=15 Health Care professionals to share their thoughts and experiences of V-CCC interviews. Following evaluation, partners will widely distribute V-CCC throughout Vietnam using hospital clinics, waiting rooms, advocacy groups and social media. We will use google analytics to explore how many people access the resource, from which region and how long they use the resource for. We hope that V-CCC will reduce isolation, poor management and ultimately deterioration of cancer outcomes that have increased due to COVID-19. The lessons we learn during this project will be exchanged with our academic partners in Colombia , Uganda and Malaysia so that they too can learn how remote digital management tools may be useful in those countries.

Publicationslinked via Europe PMC

Last Updated:38 minutes ago

View all publications at Europe PMC

Reflections on qualitative research in global health: The practical complexities of crossing cultures, contexts, and languages.

Using a six-step co-design model to rapidly respond to cancer carers support and information needs during a global pandemic.

Supporting someone with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: A mixed methods analysis of cancer carer's health, Quality of Life and need for support.

Patient-Centered Care: Transforming the Health Care System in Vietnam With Support of Digital Health Technology.

Digital support for caregivers of patients with non-communicable diseases during COVID-19: Lessons from a cancer case study in Vietnam.

What works in global health partnerships? Reflections on a collaboration between researchers from Vietnam and Northern Ireland.

A qualitative study on the needs of cancer caregivers in Vietnam.

What is known from the existing literature about peer support interventions for carers of individuals living with dementia: A scoping review.